By Rachel Graham of RNZ
The niece of a man killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks says attending the sentencing of the killer will be an important part of the grieving process.
In March, Brenton Tarrant pleaded guilty to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act over the attacks on two mosques last year. He will be sentenced on August 24.
UK-based Wedaad Mohamedhosen's uncle, Mohamad M Mohamedhosen, was killed in the attack on the Linwood mosque.
She said she wants to attend the sentencing to support her family and represent her uncle.
"We really want to come and it is going to help us to go through the grieving process and have some sort of closure of what happened to us as a family last year.
"It is important for us to be there as a family to support each other."
She is hoping there will be some sort of compassionate leave exemption to allow the family into the country while there are restrictions on the border.
She said she is hoping to be able to get advice from Immigration New Zealand as soon as possible on whether they can enter the country, especially as she assumes they will need to comply with the 14-day quarantine.
Immigration Minister Ian Lees-Galloway has said he is looking at options to allow family members of those killed and injured in the mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the killer.
He said people overseas will be able to attend remotely, and present victim impact reports remotely.
He is also seeking clarity on whether current exemptions to the travel restrictions can be used by those wishing to come to New Zealand for the sentencing.
He said Immigration New Zealand have been talking with the Ministry of Justice to determine if the humanitarian exceptions are worded in a way that would apply in this instance.
Justice Cameron Mander announced yesterday the sentencing would take place on Monday August 24 from 10am.
Three days have been set aside for sentencing, including victim impact statements from families and victims, but the judge said the hearing would take "as long as is necessary".